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Western Animation / The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper

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"Santa Claus has come to town!"

The first piece of Madagascar media after the original film, The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper is a short film centering around the Penguins' escapades during Christmas Eve.

While the penguins make last-minute preparations for Christmas at the Central Park Zoo, Private notices that Ted the polar bear in the zoo is sad spending Christmas all alone. Skipper and the others unfortunately ignore his concerns, making Private decide to run off to find the polar bear a present. Later, the penguins notice his absence and, not knowing where he is, go off and try to find him before Private is taken hostage by a familiar old lady.

The short debuted in front of the US theatrical release of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit on October 7, 2005 and then became a bonus feature on the Madagascar DVD shortly afterwards.

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper contains examples of:

  • Anvil on Head: As the penguins finally leave Nana's apartment, Rico sneaks up and is about to drop an anvil on her.
  • Ascended Extra: Nana (the old lady) is an antagonist of the short after being a brief gag in the first Madagascar.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Skipper gives one after finding out the lonely polar bear actually did have some friends.
  • Captain Oblivious: The grandma has no idea about the battle between the penguins and Mr. Chew, being distracted by the football game on TV. It is not until the game is over, shortly after the penguins leave, when she realizes the damage to her apartment and promptly blames Mr. Chew.
  • Cute Creature, Creepy Mouth: Mr. Chew, a tiny poodle with plenty of vicious-looking canine teeth.
  • Edible Ammunition: Rico swallows the contents of a bowl of mints and shoots them at Mr. Chew like a machine gun with Skipper's aid.
  • Equippable Ally: Skipper uses Rico to shoot at Mr. Chew like a machine gun after he's swallowed a bowl of mints.
  • Evil Old Folks: Played for comedy — Nana, the elderly lady that takes Private, tells her cab driver to drop dead when he asks for a tip and physically assaults the Doorman when he politely greets her.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: Parodied when Private goes missing. Once the other penguins notice that he's gone, Kowalski dramatically turns around an eggnog carton with Private's face on it. This is the same carton seen before Private ran away when the other penguins performed a chugging contest.
  • Five-Finger Fillet: Rico can be seen doing this with the visual gag that, as a penguin, it's really more of a one-flipper fillet. Skipper tells him to stop as this is inappropriate behavior for the dinner table, so he grudgingly does, but takes a moment to rub his flipper over the serrated edge of the knife when he makes sure no one is looking.
  • Hammerspace: Rico apparently pulls an anvil out of thin air to deal with Nana, though Skipper stops him from actually using it.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Rico immediately suggests "Kaboom!" as a solution to every problem the penguins face. His wish is eventually granted.
  • National Animal Stereotypes: The camels are portrayed celebrating Hanukkah, implying that they are Israeli.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Two cases — first, when Kowalski points out the mail drop, Skipper declares it "Operation: Special Delivery", and uses a vacuum set in reverse to blow he, Rico and Kowalski up to the floor with Nana's apartment to rescue Private. Later, when coming up with a plan to defeat Mr. Chew, Skipper calls it "Operation: Stocking Stuffer", which ultimately sends the Psycho Poodle flying into one of the stockings hung on the chimney, allowing the penguins to leave without further trouble.
  • Pilot Movie: This short is one for The Penguins of Madagascar (the TV series), featuring early versions of core elements from the spinoff, most prominently the Penguin base and Rico's Ax-Crazy redesign.
  • Prequel: This short takes place shortly before the first movie as the penguins, Melman, Gloria, Marty and Alex are all still living at the Central Park zoo.
  • Psycho Poodle: Mr. Chew acts all sweet and peppy for his owner, but as soon as her back is turned, he becomes a snarling beast, which gives the other penguins a serious fight when they come to rescue Private.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: While Private's looking around the zoo, he sees a pair of elephants looking romantic (their trunks are even positioned together in the shape of a Valentine heart), until one of them pulls the curtain down to give themselves some privacy.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The short's plot is driven when Private tries to cheer up a lonely-looking polar bear. Later, when the Penguins invite him over to their base for a party, it turns out he had a group of friends he decided to invite.
    Skipper: WHAT?!?
  • Sleeping Dummy: Private uses a bowling pin as a dummy to escape. When Skipper discovers it, he slaps and interrogates it.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: After Private runs off, Skipper tells his men to think about the Penguin Credo. Kowalski thinks that he is referring to "Never bathe in hot oil and Bisquick." Later, when the penguins find Private again, Skipper tells him to remember the Penguin Credo, and he replies "What does deep-frying in Bisquick have to do with any of this?"
  • Toy Disguise: When Private searches a souvenir stand, he poses as a toy to avoid being recognized by humans. Unfortunately, this works too well, as Nana mistakes him for a chew toy and buys him to give to her pet poodle, Mr. Chew, as a Christmas present.


Video Example(s):


Madagascar: Mr Chew

He may act nice and sweet around his owner, but when her back is turned, he's crazy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / PsychoPoodle

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